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Councillors Agree To Utilise UK Shared Prosperity Fund To Support Castle Recruitment & Training

3rd May 2024

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Economy and Infrastructure Committee members today (2 May 2024) agreed to direct £100K from the Council's share of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to fund a new staff training programme at the Inverness Castle Experience.

The funding will enable the project team to provide specialist visitor attraction training to young people identified through partners at Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

Set up costs will be required to support preparations for the Inverness Castle Experience opening in summer 2025 and will include the recruitment of the Inverness Castle Experience team. The recruitment process is set to begin this summer.

Chair of Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans, said: "It’s great to witness the Castle Project taking shape, on schedule and on budget, as we enter this important phase. A co-ordinated marketing, promotion, and recruitment campaign over the coming months will be needed to ensure a successful launch. This makes it even more real."

He added: "The Inverness Castle Experience promises to be a major attraction for visitors and locals alike. With what promises to be a world class destination, which will not only attract more people to Inverness with the associated benefits for the Highland economy, as it will also act as a gateway for people to explore and many other areas of Highland and enjoy the diverse."

Highland Council and High Life Highland have worked in partnership to deliver the Inverness Castle capital project since 2015. The Project has been governed by the Inverness Castle Delivery Group, Co-Chaired by Fergus Ewing MSP and the Leader of the City of Inverness and Area and with a Board comprised of Highland Council Members, Highland Council and High Life Highland officers and industry representatives. The role of the Delivery Group will come to a natural end when the Project is delivered.

Also agreed at today’s meeting were the proposed governance arrangement going forward, which will come into effect in November this year after the appointment of the Head of the Inverness Castle Experience is made.

To maintain the existing partnership a new Management Board has been proposed to fulfil the role soon to be vacated by the Delivery Group.

The Board’s remit will be to provide strategic direction and guidance to the Senior Management Team of the Inverness Castle Experience, with membership of the Board reflecting that of the Delivery Group. It will be chaired by the Chair of Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastucture Committee.

The remit and composition of the Board can be seen in Item 4 at Appendix 5 of the report to this Committee.

Economy and Infrastructure Committee members also noted the progress of the project and the Executive Summary of the Operating Plan, all of which can be seen in today’s report to Members on the Council’s website.

 

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